Slow-cook cuts reward you for time put in – but that doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen! Often the prep is simple, then time and low heat to work their magic while you turn your mind to other things. All that’s left to do is serve up!
- BEEF SHIN/OSSO BUCCO It’s rich in connective tissue that breaks down to meltingly tender mouthfuls through slow-cooking. Osso bucco (bone-in) is used in the eponymous North Italian stew or it’s great in casseroles or pie fillings. Beef shin, red wine and mushroom pie, anyone?
FREEDOM FARMS PORK SPARE RIBS OR SHOULDER ROAST - Pork shoulder makes the best-pulled pork – try it Carolinastyle: a simple rub and a post-cook dousing with spicy, vinegary sauce, while ribs love a thick marinade which will turn into a sticky sauce when cooked long and slow.
BEEF CHEEK - All that chewing cows do means plenty of connective tissue in the cheek, which yields into unctuous, gelatinous goodness. Cook with liquid –in casseroles alongside chunky vegetables, or braise with Asian flavours. After 3 hours it should break apart with a fork.
BEEF ROAST - If you’re starting with a tender cut like sirloin or scotch, keep it simple with dry seasoning or a mustard crust. Start with a blast of high heat then lower the dial (or vice versa) for caramelisation.
LAMB SHOULDER OR LEG - Both benefit from a long roast at a low temperature of around 150ÆC. The shoulder has more fat, which makes it perfect for shredding,= while a leg can be cooked a little less and carved into tender slices.
OX TAIL - Plenty of connective tissue and the caps on the bones make ox tail seductively unctuous. Make ox tail stew, or add ox tail when making Vietnamese pho, for extra richness.
LAMB SHANK - Sufficient liquid is key when slow-cooking lamb shanks, the result will be fall-off-thebone, sticky-soft forkfuls. Braise in red wine with rosemary and serve over silky mashed potato to soak up the juices, or try a spice-driven Chinese red-braise, served on steamed rice or thick, hearty noodles.
- Pat dry the surface and brown meat before slow-cooking in liquid - it helps seal in juices and boost flavour.
- If roasting a large cut pat dry, cover in spice rubs if using and leave uncovered in fridge overnight to get a perfect crisp exterior.
- Let roasts rest for a decent amount of time after cooking, to seal in juices.